Reality From Ringside #43
December 14, 2009
By: Doug Lackey of WrestleView.comTables, Ladders and Chairs 2009: The Hangover
WWE's pay-per-view calendar year has come to an end bringing us fourteen programs that cost at least $40 a piece to watch? and I purchased every single one of them.
You read that right. I gave Vince at least $560 of my well-earned money this year just to have the privilege of watching his product. That's not counting tickets to last June's Raw ?Three-for-all? from Charlotte and the tickets I have purchased for the December 28 Smackdown/ECW house show. Through my vigorous calculations, I would estimate that WWE's accounts have over $700 of mine.
Insane, huh? Think about what you could do with that much money.
Would you like a round trip to your favorite destination within the United States, hotel accommodations for a weekend, and maybe a night out on the town with your loved one?
How about a down payment on a new vehicle?
If you were friends with me and knew where I worked, imagine a brand new 47? LCD 1080p 120 Hz television from LG (Model: 47SL80) resting on your TV stand.
Well if you are a professional wrestling fan, write for what you truly consider the greatest professional wrestling news/opinion website on the planet, and have even a shred of journalistic integrity? forget all of those.
While I can definitely see some of you out there shaking your heads in disgust knowing that I spent THAT much on the industry this year, I?m definitely not the only one. The reasons for my purchasing of WWE PPVs may seem more logical professionally than say? someone just sitting at home by themselves purchasing them for their own enjoyment without the companionship of others.
Also, how bad would my columns (especially these PPV Hangovers) look if I did not try to watch the shows? Granted, I know I could try and find an illegal stream online watching it that way? but I would rather pay $40 to view a wrestling program without interruption and without trying to frantically search for the next open stream praying that I haven?t missed anything important or McMahon's Cyber-Gestapo has raided another line.
So, before going into the questions we are left with from WWE's final PPV of 2009, let this be said: My dedication to professional wrestling, my work ethic inside and outside of Wrestleview, and my journalistic integrity in regards to any and all of my columns should never be questioned? if you choose to, let's see you wire $700 to Connecticut.
With that said, let's take some Tylenol, drink some coffee (preferably black), and fight through the TLC hangover:What do Vince, his son-in-law, and everyone else within the company see in Drew McIntyre?
Watching his Intercontinental Title match against John Morrison, reading the inhabitants? remarks in the Wrestleview chat room, hearing the live commentary by the resident's of ?Sunday Night Showdown?, and listening to the post-show comments by the usual suspects Hunter, Trey, and Adam?
You would think that Drew McIntyre just walked down the ramp into the ring, slipped off his trunks, squatted down, defecated live in front of over 10,000 fans and televised ten times more globally? and Vince handed him the belt saying ?That's my big boy.?
I have yet to read or hear anything positive from his match? or any of his matches for that matter. Reactions have been nothing but pure disappointment, frustration, or reactions of futility and disparagement from all within professional wrestling media.
However, after reading reports from those same sources, McIntyre has been viewed by the ?Board with the Dry-Erase Board? as the youthful reincarnation of some of the talents of today. A meteoric catapult from no-name to in-game status and a storyline stamp of approval by Vince himself, McIntyre has now become a legitimate member of WWE's roster regardless of the disdain from those previously mentioned.
Granted, I agree completely that McIntyre is about as charismatic as a sheet of graph paper, that HAL 9000 conveys more emotion than he does on a microphone, and that Jim Ross could show more facial expressions than him (too soon?).
There must be something that ?The Board? sees behind the curtain that we are not seeing as fans or pundits. Could it be his work ethic behind the scenes? Could it be his drive and devotion by listening to all involved and learning from those who want him to? There just has to be something about him that we are not seeing but everyone else involved is.
This is definitely no reason for me or anyone else to begin to enjoy his performances? until we see something that can be spotted, regardless of how analytical or critical we need to be to see it, we will have no choice but to continue to endure McIntyre's performances.With WWE's pay-per-view calendar of 2009 fulfilled, has the ?PPV Rebranding? experiment been successful?
From my business standpoint, we can?t really say that anything about the success of WWE's rebranding, however we can say something about their effort in putting forth an entertaining product.
Below I have listed WWE's gimmicked PPVs and counterpoints to where I?m sure anyone would complain about them at first glance. Take it for what you will?
Extreme Rules: Jeff Hardy defeating Edge for the World Heavyweight Title in a Ladder Match.
Night of Champions: Rey Mysterio retaining his Intercontinental Title against Chris Jericho.
Breaking Point: Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase doing the improbable making Shawn Michaels submit and defeating Degeneration-X.
Hell in a Cell: Degeneration-X exacting revenge on Rhodes and DiBiase within the confines of Hell in a Cell.
Bragging Rights: Smackdown's 7-man team defeating Raw's team showing Big Show's true allegiance and beginning Kofi Kingston's run as a viable upper-tier talent.
Tables, Ladders, and Chairs: Sheamus? ?upset of the millennium? over John Cena in a Tables match for the WWE Title.
Without the rebranding of WWE's pay-per-views and the gimmicks overshadowed, we would not have had any of these thoroughly entertaining matches, evolving storylines, and the potential grooming of future talents.
I welcome any and all criticisms for my selections when it comes to the matches and pay-per-views, but keep this in mind: If it weren?t for this rebranding, you would not have the product you have right now. Think about how different it would be? intriguing, huh?
Finally, the biggest question that we are left with after ?Tables, Ladders and Chairs??What is written on WWE's dry-erase board for Wrestlemania 26?
What is the main event for WWE's biggest pay-per-view for 2010?
Who will The Undertaker face when he puts his undefeated streak on the line?
Who will win ?Money in the Bank? and be the next breakthrough performer for WWE?
Whoever wins next month's Royal Rumble, will they truly ?main event? Wrestlemania 26?
Everyone and their grandmother have been hinting towards an Undertaker/John Cena match and I have absolutely no qualms with such a prediction as obvious as it may look. I?m more interested to see what happens beyond that.
If the Unified Tag Team Titles are going to be defended, will we be satisfied possibly seeing Shawn Michaels and Triple H in a match that does not involve them individually? Moreover, what team could they put together and push effectively to make it a truly Wrestlemania-worthy match?
Will Edge be healthy enough to return to Wrestlemania and possibly resume his place on the WWE roster as a main event talent? Does he need ?Money in the Bank? to do this or will someone younger grab the briefcase?
Will Sheamus, McIntyre, Kofi Kingston, and The Miz fulfill their destinies as 'sole survivors? from last November? All are definitely successful in my eyes, but will we see them make even bigger names for themselves on the grand stage?
I ask all my loyal Realists to send me your predictions for Wrestlemania 26's card. Imagine who will be the Royal Rumble winner and who he will face. How many matches and title defenses will we see? If Undertaker/Cena is to happen, will it involve a title of some kind? Will we see Degeneration-X competing as a tag team? Who will compete in Money in the Bank, capture the briefcase, and inevitably (according to history) become a new World Champion?
Why didn?t I make my own predictions? My record for the year in PPV predicting is 66-75. Scoreboard.
Until next time, mouth-breathers!
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